LEWISTON — A necklace utilizing piano parts. A fanciful and usable teapot shaped like a French horn.

Brooches made from found and formed metal. A red stoneware bowl. A walnut hall table with an intriguing tangle of branches as legs.

These and other works by 35 members of the Maine Crafts Association will be displayed at the Atrium Art Gallery in the juried biennial exhibition “The Inspired Hand 5,” opening Friday, Jan. 20.

In addition, the work of six recipients of the Master Craft Artist Award will be featured.

According to the exhibit brochure, visitors “will find all manner of shapes, colors and designs, from the graceful lines of a ‘heron’ table by Eben Blaney to the lively assortment of precious materials in a John Wise bracelet. In between one finds glass, stoneware, fiber and steel — not to mention an accordion book by former Belfast poet laureate Karin Spitfire.”

An opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the gallery at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn campus, 51 Westminster St.

Maine’s Poet Laureate, Wesley McNair, will read a selection of poems from “The Inspired Pen,” a poetry chapbook created for the exhibit. Copies of the limited edition chapbook will be available free at the opening.

With support from the Maine Humanities Council, the Writing Center at L-A College and the Atrium Art Gallery collaborated on “The Inspired Pen,” a selection of 16 poems inspired by handmade objects or the process of creating them. Jurors for the final selection of poems were Annie Finch and Robert Farnsworth.

Also featured will be the Tim Clough/John Smedley Jazz Duo performing jazz standards and originals.

Refreshments will be served in addition to a cash bar. The reception is free.

Jurors for “The Inspired Hand 5” are recipients of MCA’s annual Master Craft Artist Award, recognizing excellent craftsmanship, inspired design and contributions to the field of craft: Christian Becksvoort, Katharine Cobey and Jacques Vesery. The exhibition essay was written by noted arts writer Carl Little.

Artists in the exhibition are Eben Blaney, Lucy Breslin, Anne-Claude Cotty, Andrea Schmidt Cough, Jim Crampton, Morris David Dorenfeld,Lynn Duryea, Natalie Ann Gardner, Jemma Gascoine, Tyler Gulden, Wayne Hall, Christine Peters Hamilton, Katherine Harman Harding, David Jacobson, Mark Johnson, Peggy Johnson, Kenneth Kohl, Elena Kubler, Gregg Lipton, Phyllis Harper Loney, Edward Mackenzie, Marguerite Ogden, Susan Perrine, Willy Reddick, Meryl Ruth, Sarah Shepley, Spitfire, Jill Snyder Wallace and John Wise.

Maine Crafts Association master craft artists showing works include Becksvoort, Cobey, Paul Heroux, Lissa Hunter, Vesery and Fred Woell.

Poets include Marcia F. Brown, Michael R. Brown, Sharon Bray, Vanessa Greeley, Kimberly Cloutier Green, Leonore Hildebrandt, Julie Kravetz, Carolyn Locke, Lee Sharkey, Spitfire and Martin Steingesser.

“The Inspired Hand 5” will be on view through March 17. Admission is free.

Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The exhibit website is www.usm.maine.edu/atriumgallery. “The Inspired Pen” poems are available at www.usm.maine.edu/writing center.


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